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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Cascade Foothills

    Default I want my confidence back! Advise this nervous re-rider.

    Edited to say that we ironed out the kinks and now have a very nice working relationship. The money and time is still too scarce, however, so I am planning to sell the horse to someone who can make plenty of time for him.
    Last edited by didgery; Mar. 9, 2009 at 01:34 PM.
    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2006
    Southern Finger Lakes of NY


    If you honestly can't afford more time with a trainer, for you or for him, then sell him. LIfe's too short, horses are too expensive, and we're all too old to be alone with a horse we're afraid of.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2007
    Andover, MA


    Well I will hold your hand, anyway, having found myself in a similar position (mid-40s rerider after 25 years of no riding, bought seemingly fine horse, but she is dominant-yet-spooky and had some physical issues no one was aware of.)

    I tried a bunch of things that didn't work, and now seem to be doing better. But I am shelling out the big bucks for training for both of us. I got a bit too much into the food rewards, and have scaled those back to very specific, predictable times, and she's getting less pushy. I'm also "in her space" a lot; oddly enough, putting her into her stall for untacking and just staying in there with her and talking to her has gained her respect and trust. I've also brought in a "horse whisperer" -- but not one of the cult ones -- to work with us on some specific issues. We are not out of the woods by any means, but I am not afraid of my mare anymore, and look forward to every ride I get.

    I think a lot of re-riders, maybe the majority, go through something like this. In one's 40s, with bigger responsibilities and more of the world's weight upon one's shoulders, one is just likely to be more cautious. Wanting to preserve one's life is fine!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2008
    Surrey, UK


    Gosh, it sounds like you've got a young version of my guy! I feel your pain and frustration. I look at my guy, knowing he isn't fit, but not wanting to get *on* him to get him fit...a vicious cycle.

    I agree with Bayou Roux. Life's too short to go through it with a horse you don't trust. Your situation is such that you can probably find him a good home.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2005
    Myrtle Beach, SC


    Ok... I didn't read any other replies because I want my post to be unbiased by others opinions. I'm back in the saddle after not riding while I was preggo. What I am finding helping is to be working out OFF the horse. I'm fixing the weak areas on the horse unmounted. So.. my suggestion is to get fitter yourself, so that you are faster and stronger and have the stamina to be faster with your corrections.

    When he is tense, circle, get a nice bend and push him inside leg to outside hand, when he gives and relaxes let him walk a stride or two straight, then ask for the bend again and circle. If he gets grumpy change it up and ask for more forward.

    I'm very risk adverse myself right now. If you aren't comfortable, back up and break the task down into itty bitty pieces and use that to figure out where you are getting frazzled and overwhelmed. I had to do this today. I HATE HATE HATE trotting without stirrups. I'll walk or canter, no problems.. but I hate trotting with out them... because that is when I panic and fall off the side of my horse. So I was working today during my lesson to figure out what I'm doing that causes me to panic instead of just sit the hec up and ride the blipp'n horse.

    I think when you are able to break down the fear issues and fix the root of them that you'll have your confident self back. I think once you have your confidence back he'll shape up and stop being a bafoon.

    Inaddition, try looking for what happens before the misbehavior, If you can keep things on a even keel the whole time you never get that pisy responces... what is the difference between you riding and the other riders riding him? That is just food for thought cause if you can pinpoint it it give you a place to start making the nessisary changes.
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2003
    NE FL


    Quote Originally Posted by didgery View Post

    Where is the cocky teenager I used to be? Where's the girl who used to trail ride bareback and bridleless?

    She probably has a job and a mortgage and has learned that the ground is hard.
    I turned 40 last year. Dec. 30 2006 I shattered my left wrist in a fall off my then 3 year old while foxhunting. It took me until about 3 months ago to really start getting my confidence back. Really. It took a long time to heal, and then it takes forever to get fit again when you're old.
    And I don't think I will ever be the rider I used to be again.
    As someone else said, fitness was definitely an issue. As i have gotten my strength and fitness back, I feel more comfortable and confident. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, your fear is what keeps you sane and safe. It's when it keeps you on the couch that there is a problem.
    Just keep doing what you're doing, listen to your trainer, push yourself out of your comfort zone each time you ride, just a little bit. Not so much that you get scared or transmit it to your horse, but just enough to challenge yourself.
    Now all of that said, at our age it's not fun to ride horses with issues or problem horses.
    If you aren't having fun with him it's time to make a change.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2002
    way out west


    Jaegermonster said the most important thing at the very end of the post:

    If you're not having fun with him it's time to make a change!

    I held on to my last horse for too long, and it was starting to make me dread going out to ride him. After a trip to the ER due to his unpredictable/cranky behavior, I sold him and bought a dead broke but still green gelding that is quiet, happy, and willing. What a change! And they do exist -- horses that are affordable because they're not finished, but are so kind and good-natured you can trust them even as they're learning their job.

    I have my confidence back, and I can't wait to ride him. More than that, it's fun again. You're not a professional, it doesn't sound like you're super into showing, you want a fun and willing partner that you can enjoy without risking life and limb.

    Move on. Life's too short.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2006
    St. Louis


    didgery, I am in the SAME boat. Here is the cliff notes version.

    I have been riding my husband's trail horse for almost 2 years, trying to make him into my very low level event horse. We owned him as a 4 year old, and I didn't like him then. What was I thinking this time?? LOL. He had gotten away with bad behavior with previous owners, figuring out ways to get out of work without really hurting the rider (spooking, being lazy, kicking out, bucking, etc.). He really just wants to be ridden by someone who doesn't know what they are doing and won't make him work hard,and he will take care of them. Or just trail ridden is a very relaxed manner. That is how he ended up as hubby's trail horse.

    Things were going well, for the most part, both on the flat and over fences. We had our 'work evasion' sessions, but overall, we were working through them. Fast forwad to this fall when I broke my foot. He basically had 2 months off and really liked it. Now, he balks at my leg, kicks out if I use the crop (like when he refuses to pick up the canter), and plants all 4 when he decides he is done. If you get after him, he fights harder. He doesn't just do it with me either. I'm sure someone could get on him and really get after him (cowboy ride, if you will), but I have found that I am not up for that fight (he threatens to rear, kicks out, bucks, etc.). So I make him move in a tight circle until he becomes more willing. The other night he just didn't want to track left. I mean, c'mon, how hard is walking on the rail to the right?? The other day he wouldn't turn left after a fence - only wanted to turn right. He hates being lunged and will either buck and run off or charge at you every chance he gets. There is no pain. He's just reinforcing that he is ALLOWING me to ride him and that he is still in charge. He's a D*%K. It's that simple.

    Bottom line, we will get into a big fight eventually and I will probably end up getting hurt. My husband finally realizes this, and now I am shopping for a new horse. While no horse is perfect and without some type of problems, as others have said, life is too short and this hobby is too expensive to deal with crap like this.
    Last edited by SmallHerd; Jan. 28, 2009 at 11:37 PM. Reason: Spelling errors
    Member of My Balance is Poo Poo Clique

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008


    I'm a re-rider too with a newish horse (7 months) so maybe my recent experiences will help.

    About a month ago I think I was feeling very similar to how you are feeling now - the honeymoon was over and we had hit our first official relationship rough patch and everything had seemed to regress. I took it pretty rough but I think I've worked through it and now I think I've made it the other side.

    My issues pretty much boiled down to my horse had realized that she could dominate me and I hadn't noticed the subtleties. My coach worked with me in a ground manners lesson to point out all the little things she was doing that was disrespecting me and so as a first step I started to work towards correcting it.

    This also translated to bad behavior under saddle. She had started tuning out my leg aids to go forward and was kicking out at my whip and bucking. My coach was adamant that if she rode her it would not solve the problem and that this was a problem in our relationship and that we needed to work though it and nothing she could do would help. My coach wanted me to discipline my horse with the whip when she kicked out or bucked but I was terrified as I could only imagine the bucks getting bigger! (I did consider getting her to ride just so I could see how far it might escalate). But guess what? when I finally (it took a couple of coached rides to build up to it) yelled and smacked her when she was pissy she stopped, she did not have a further hissy fit. I've consistently had the same results since (knock on wood). It was a big leap of faith for me.

    I totally missed it at the time, but hind sight is 20/20 - I think she is much happier with me taking the leadership role in the relationship but I have to admit I don't find it easy. I am now very conscious of how I act around my horse and I don't let her get away with any dominant behavior. I do in hand work every day before my ride to establish/reinforce who's in charge before I get on. And to make myself feel better I wear a body protector for every ride (because I know it works).

    Maybe this ramble will give you some ideas. Good luck in working through your issues.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2008
    Central NY


    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    I think she is much happier with me taking the leadership role in the relationship but I have to admit I don't find it easy. I am now very conscious of how I act around my horse and I don't let her get away with any dominant behavior. I do in hand work every day before my ride to establish/reinforce who's in charge before I get on.
    Yeah, I agree with the above post. Add me to your list of those whose horse tries to dominate them and the long road to becoming "boss" mare.

    I'm in my late 40's and in good shape. Just got my second horse, green 6 year old who started acting up after a month with me. I do NOT have the benefit of a trainer, lessons, any help whatsover, I have to resolve it myself.
    Sure, I'm scared-but I don't let HER know that!

    Dog trainers often say, "If you don't step up as "pack leader" setting the rules, the dog feels scared and makes himself pack leader. I believe this philosophy with horsies too.
    Remember, you know this horse can go well for you, he's just taken a bad turn. He needs to be put back on track.

    I lunge EVERY time I see greenie for 20-30 minutes. It's a lot easier (safer) to discipline them from the ground. Horse comes towards you? YOU'VE got the whip. You need to put bad horsies in their place. I find lunging a great tool to put greenie's focus on ME instead of other activities around the barn.

    Make sure you wear leather gloves when you lunge or ride. Greenie was getting away from any discipline by yanking the rope right out of my hands! It only takes one or two times to "re-train" them to realize they no longer can get away with crap. And you have to be brave those times.

    Once I got her respecting me from the ground, I worked on respect in saddle. I started riding in a western saddle because it keeps my legs deeper. Wear protective clothing: helmet, vest, chaps. It'll help you feel more confident and braver. Again, you've got to "retrain" them to understand bucking or bolting is NOT acceptible. If I had an assistant, I'd have them lunge me riding for awhile if I was really afraid.

    And believe me, I'm still terrified to leave the quiet controlled arena. But will go back to working on trails at least during the summer. I've gone from timid to having balls again. I'm NOT going to allow a horse to outsmart me with muscle.

    If all this sounds like too much work, then yes, get another horse. But I find doing all this work has created a rewarding bond between me & greenie.
    I don't think she WANTS to be bad, she just doesn't TRUST me enough yet.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Ocala, FL


    That's my story!!!
    I recently moved my horse to another barn - on the advice of my long-time trainer and friend. My relationship with my new horse had followed the same path as yours....She was worried I would get hurt, and it was making me and my horse and her tense.

    SO. The total focus at the new barn is forward and paying attention. He is not allowed to look outside the ring. If he does (pasos on the road, cat in field, etc), we do an immediate turn to the inside, about a 10m circle or smaller. We also do alot of ToF to keep him focused on ME. When we walk in or out, same story. Total focus on ME, not on anything else. Lots of ground work, in a NH type of way (no sticks, just focus on me, ToF, LY, etc.) Also taught him "head down" while walking to defuse the "WHAT'S THAT!!" lookies.

    Over the past three months it has worked! When he sees something, only the least little reminder brings him back to me., and we are AT WORK. Even the spooks when leading in/out are now much quieter, more like a "what's that? oh. OK" moment.

    Keep him totally focused on you at all times. Don't expect him to cruise around while you work on your seat, or your hands, or anything else. He will take that opportunity to become distracted.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006


    You have to learn to ignore minor idiocy. Little spooks and crowhops and say "hey, back to work!". My horse can be a tool sometimes, and I have learned to just keep on going. Like I don't quite get how the only time the guinea hens are scary is on a left lead canter.

    One tool I use is to ask for a variety of work. Endless trips around the ring leads to boredom and looking for trouble. If I sense a silly, I do ask for leg yield or a transition or a 10 meter circle. Trot poles are my friend. You say he focuses when you ask for leg yield- what a great tool. Use it. Make up patterns. Leg yield, 20 meter circle, halt, walk a half circle, canter 2 circles, trot over the poles.

    By the way, when I get worried, I chat or sing. It helps me breathe and relax. And realize that particularly during the winter, they have crazy days. All you accomplish is a spin on the longe line. So be it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
    Central VA


    As a nervous re-rerider myself, I can offer you a few tidbits of my hard-learned wisdom.

    I think first you have to decide whether the horse is doing anything you truly should be afraid of. If he is, sell him and get something quieter. I had one like this, he was just a nervous type and I learned the hard way, he bolted and I came off and broke my back. I knew before this happened that he was too nervous and insecure for me and that something bad was likely to happen.

    My other horse, who is now lame and retired, is different. When I first got him, he was super laid back. I started taking dressage lessons regularly and he started really having to work. After a while, he became belligerent. I think it was because he is inherently lazy and he was PO'd at having to work hard. He would rear up a little (not high enough to be scary), would plant his feet, spin around, etc. He'd try to drag me back toward the barn if we were working outside the arena. He was just being a butthead.

    When I realized that nothing he was doing was truly scary, and that I had seen his full repertoire of tricks, I decided I was going to ride thru it. I was also inspired by seeing my then trainer ride thru it. What I had to do was get mad. At that point, I was frustrated enough with him to consider selling him. But I just decided, hey, you haven't gotten me off yet, and I'm going to take charge here. When he acted up, I'd give him a warning growl, then dig in, whack him one good time with the crop and ride it out. If he was *really* bad, I'd get off and longe him and work the crap outta him for about thirty minutes. After a few months of this, he started trying his "stuff" less and less frequently, and eventually altogether. I honestly think he just did not want to work, learned that he could act pigheaded and scare me, and then when I decided to step up and not take his crap anymore, he eventually gave in. This is an intelligent horse, I've had him for 10 years now. He has a puppydog personality but definitely has a stubborn streak.

    I think a lot of it with a new horse is figuring out their "bag of tricks". Unless they're truly unstable (like my nervous bolter was), they are pretty predictable.

    You just need to decide if you are willing to try to ride it out. I honestly don't think anyone else can do this for you, because as soon as you get back on him consistently, you'll be back to square one. It does help to have ground support in the form of a trainer and to have the trainer hop on occasionally, though. I agree with the PP about variety in your flat work too. I will say I'd avoid the trail until you can work this out in the arena.

    Hope this helps... good luck!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2001

    Default Sounds just like me

    The OP could have been written by me except that my guy is not quite so bad... but almost. My guy is a large, dominant gelding, quite pushy on the ground but advertised as "bombproof" and I had seen him go quite a few times and was very impressed by his level headedness. For the first month he didn't put a foot wrong and then we had two spooks and a bolts on the trail which really shook me because he has a mouth of iron and is almost impossible to stop. I moved him to a barn with an indoor arena for the winter and he is spooky and uncooperative in the arena. It is very difficult to build a rapour with horse when you start to dislike them.

    I hate myself in my 50s, I also was formerly almost fearless on horseback and I have become a nervous "old lady" and just about ready to give up on riding.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2006


    No real advice but you have my sympathies.

    I don't really count as a rerider, having never really taken a break from riding, but things fell apart for me when I retired my 20 year old packer and started riding her 7 year old greenish daughter (see my thread last spring on challenging horses). My old mare, while hot and sensitive, wasn't particularly challenging in terms of dominance. She's an alpha mare with other horses, but had long since accepted that humans rule the roost (I've had my cousins' kids, all under age 10, on her with no problems). Any minor misbehavior on the ground could generally be corrected with growling "Quit!" or at most tugging on the lead rope. In the nearly 15 years I've owned her, she NEVER bucked and rarely spooked (which was a good thing, cuz when she did, it was either the sideways teleportation move or the 180 degree spin-bolt). We had our training issues (who doesn't???) but I never felt unsafe.

    Enter Pixie. She had been with a trainer for a couple of months and seemed easy enough to handle, but was described as "quirky". Once I was on my own, in a fairly short time frame it became apparent that I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how to deal with a horse who actually challenges you for dominance. Forget about riding, the ground manners deteriorated to the point that it was getting dangerous and even leading was a problem. I admit I was getting scared and I was really upset, because I could see my confidence just slipping away. And I had just gotten it back 2 years prior, after a wreck on another horse (not one of mine)!

    I ended up moving to a different barn with a cowboy type trainer (Note to SmallHerd: he's very good, if you're looking for help with CD's issues PM me) and we started at the very beginning. It was hard to admit that all these problems were my own doing, but I did learn how to make myself the "alpha mare." We had just started riding again, and then our progress got interrupted when Pixie got a leg laceration last summer. We couldn't really start working again until November. Pixie is in partial training now (3 rides/week), which is not cheap but I felt I owed it to the horse since I was the one who messed things up in the first place. It has taken a year, but I finally feel like I understand her and even like her, bratty little thing that she is.

    I do think sometimes the quiet types are deceptive. I actually find it easier to work with a horse like Pixie's mom, who is hot but wants to work. Lazy can become stubborn and resistant quick. Pixie is not spooky and is of the opinion that work is a four letter word. BUT, she is stubborn and will fight fight fight you when she decides she doesn't want to do ask you ask (which is often!). She's not dumb, she's actually too smart when it comes to figuring out what she can get away with. Even the trainer swears she spends the 23 hours a day she's not being worked, dreaming up new fun tricks to try.

    I know you said additional training wasn't really an option but if things are as you say, I don't know that you can solve this on your own. I know I certainly couldn't with Pixie, once the behavior had gotten to a certain point--but maybe you are braver than me! Only you can really know if selling your horse is the answer. I decided to stick it out with my mare, despite the financial sacrifice, out of a strong sense of obligation and because things were truly at the point were I doubted I could sell the horse anyway short of an auction, which I couldn't deal with. On the other hand, I'm a grad student and don't have children/a mortgage/adult responsibilities. My advice, for the horse's sake, is if you're not going to keep him, sell him before things get to the point that NO ONE wants to deal with him.

    Good luck!
    Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
    Crayola Posse: sea green
    Mighty Rehabbers Clique

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2003


    I too am in my 50s and had a series of accidents on my nervous TB about 5 years ago that leave me still petrified about riding in the two fields next to my house where he dumped me. After 4 or 5 years of trying to work through the fear and confidence issues I had with him I threw in the towel and sold him. He came back seven months later. I never heard exactly the true nature of what happened but I feared he would come to a bad end so he is now a pasture ornament. Meanwhile, I bought a big bossy DWB gelding, completely made, who has his silly moments but has never bolted, dropped his shoulder, stopped at a fence, crowhopped, or done anything remotely bad. I am still a very nervous rider because after 47 years of riding off and on, more on than off, I have issues with pain and stiffness and the body doesn't always do what the brain says no matter how fit I am.

    I saw a sports psychologist who was quite helpful and he recommended a book called Mind Gym. It's on Amazon and is definitely worth reading for ideas and techniques to deal with confidence and fear.

    I suggest you get yourself or make sure you have a very reliable horse. I can get on my horse when it is 30 degrees outside with the wind blowing 20 mph and he hasn't been ridden for two weeks and he doesn't pull any crap. But he is not a deadhead by any stretch of the imagination. It makes a huge difference. I can tell you from experience that breaking your arm or some other body part while you are riding and then having to take care of kids, house, go to work, etc, absolutely sucks big time. It lost me a very important client because I was so stressed and bitched out with the arm in some big plastic clamshell thing in the middle of a NC summer, having to take it out to go through security at the airport, etc, etc, that I literally told the client he was an idiot when under normal circumstances I would have thought it but bitten my lip.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    South Carolina


    In your situation, I'd sell.

    You posted that you can't do more training for him/more lessons for you. And that's the only way I know to solve the problem.

    It's good you're recognizing the problem early - you've just had him since October - so you can sell him on before you get much more attached.
    I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2000
    Chesterland, OH USA


    Quote Originally Posted by saddleup View Post
    I held on to my last horse for too long, and it was starting to make me dread going out to ride him. After a trip to the ER due to his unpredictable/cranky behavior, I sold him and bought a dead broke but still green gelding that is quiet, happy, and willing. What a change! And they do exist -- horses that are affordable because they're not finished, but are so kind and good-natured you can trust them even as they're learning their job.
    Help us out, do you find the dead broke but still green horse that is quiet, happy, and willing? How do you *know* when you are looking that this is what you are looking at? I am so gun-shy after my last horse purchase.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by didgery View Post

    Here's a novel for you. The Cliff's notes are thus: A newish horse and his adult re-rider must find a way to deal with one another with respect and confidence, respectively. The horse has pulled a few fast ones - spooks, bucks, etc. - and the rider is now terribly afraid that she's overhorsed and underskilled.

    Here's the whole story:

    I have an newly acquired eight year old paint/Friesian cross gelding that should be a pretty straightforward ride - he was marketed as a good lower level dressage prospect, trail horse, etc. and when I tried him (several times) he seemed to have a good heart and a phlegmatic attitude. If anything, the concern was that he tended towards lazy! I am an adult re-rider with three small children, so my first priority was finding a safe horse that could be sane and kind even on a limited schedule. I currently ride two to three times per week, and have been taking lessons whenever I can. My trainer knew him before the sale and basically thinks we're a good match, that he has a temper but that it's nothing I'm not up to dealing with, and that he's going to be an easy mount for me once I establish myself in a position of leadership.

    this part bothers me

    My trainer knew him before the sale and basically thinks we're a good match, that he has a temper but that it's nothing I'm not up to dealing with, and that he's going to be an easy mount for me once I establish myself in a position of leadership.

    sometimes those that are re riders relay on there trianers to find the horses for them
    but not actually accessing the rider caperbilites rather just a sale of the horse and commission in there pockets
    the last sentence is not ahorse i would buy for a novice rider just that one sentence tells me hes not a novice ride
    in the same paragraph you say this
    that he has a temper but that it's nothing I'm not up to dealing with,
    but your not

    and that he's going to be an easy
    but hes not

    you wanted this
    my first priority was finding a safe horse that could be sane and kind even on a limited schedule.

    be honest with yourself

    I have been riding him since October, and during November and December I really felt like it was better and better every ride. I didn't have much fun trail riding, as he was very balky,

    um why if he was surpose to be a quiet horse

    but in the ring I enjoyed every minute of my time with him and felt fully capable of improving both during and between my lessons. He was getting better and happier all the time and I really felt like a million bucks on him.

    he didnt know you than and you sub concious of having three kids didnt enter your mind

    My recent problem? For the past few weeks he's been whipping out these misbehaviors in the ring - spooking, wheeling, balking, kicking out at my leg, small bucks, crowhops, etc - more and more frequently,

    napping is the word and not a noivce riders horse

    and I am now way out of my comfort zone!

    so you would be as your a re -rider that should be on a schoolie or older horse
    or one that matches your abilities ie your riding level

    I've become really nervous and I hate the way he's got my number.

    to be expected when ones not on the right horse to match your caperbilites and riding skiils

    We've had other, more advanced riders get on him (he goes beautifully)

    off course he would, understand some times horses and people are over horsed as the horse knows more than the people that brought them do, put an advanced rider on and the horse will go lovely as they have the technique and expreiince of how to ask him to xyz
    and dont llet him nap as the napping is just taking the p, if the rider has the right q's in there riding skills then the horse does xyz without much of a put up as they antispate his movements so in other words he dont do with them what he does with you
    they are giving him clear direct signals

    , he's recently had a thorough vet check, saddle fitting, eye exam, lameness exam, dental exam, and chiropractic checkup. My trainer is sure that he's not really afraid or in pain, but that he's just being a snot because he's gotten away with it in the past.

    theres nothing worng with him, hes just not the horse for you as you are a novice and the horse isnt a novice ride -

    Most (nearly all) of his riders in the past have been beginners (more so than me, and I'm no expert), and he's had his pissy attitude reinforced by some past experiences.

    its not the horses fault its how hes been brought up and trianed so therefore people get over horsed by him as he can easily get there no to get out of work same as hes doing to you

    My dressage lessons have mostly focused on sharply reinforcing my leg aids with the whip rather than nagging with my legs, getting him forward and keeping my hands and legs quiet.

    um- better to ride with an indepandent seat and secure leg and light hands
    sounds to me as if you using the whip instead of your elgs and hands are jingle jangle which to a horse is giving a confused signal of mixed messages as in asking with your legs
    and if hands arnt quiet or you balancing yourself in the reins or heavy in the reinds or hand set then the horse is going to advade you by doing what hes doing ie napping
    this where your instructor should be correcting your hands and legs and seat
    and working the horse from butt to poll to a relaxed yaw if she cant see you heavy in the hands or not using the half halts stride and bringing the horse back to walk or halt and back into and under control and then re accessing your position your hands and your balance so your working in harmony with the horse rather than against the horse which will make him nap

    do you flap as i tend to think judging by what your saying that your legs are like a pedulium clock and not secure or still or llight which if the horse can do with advanced riders then its not the horse its rider error which as your a re - rider having a horse like this
    isnt a good match until you have learn to ride the horse between leg and hand

    if you flapping like a bird as constant kicking now to be replaced by a whip so not kicking
    then thats a bad move on your trianers part as encoruaging you to do that
    a whip is only to be used to back up your leg when it needs it not to whip as to keep him going this to would upset ahorse and he would nap

    kicking and be hard to the leg or whiping to replace the kick is a bad training issue for the horse
    as hes being forced into the out line which a horse in himself is a lot stronger in mind and body so he will nap

    We have been working on some beginning lateral work, which is a nice thing to do to refocus him when I feel like he's tense and volatile, but I can't just leg yield all day every day.

    no i can see that happening as look when your a novice you have to mastered the basic lateral work before one can move upwards to things slightly harder for you

    the basics is wtc with half halts stride with every transition once you learn it in all three paces then you can move up to leg yeilds and schoulder ins

    I ride in a loose ring, french link snaffle and a Wintec Isabell that has been recommended for him by a saddle fitter. I always wear a helmet and ride in a nice covered arena, but the two times I've ridden outside of the arena I was very shaken up by his very nervous, spooky behavior. I am TERRIBLY frustrated about being in a situation where I'm afraid to ride on the trail, as that is my primary goal for the next five years!!

    you know sometimes the horse can go sour asa doing the same thing day in day out
    wherby if you take them out they see abit of lifeand focus better as the atmostphere
    is more relaxed

    a lot of your problem is sub conciously you have three kids and dont want to get hurt as you might not have someone to look after them

    matey this horse is to much for you at this time you need a quiet horse you can just jump on and gain your confidence with and that you can love and have the kids around him or her maybe put them on there back and have fun as in a family horse so you can all enjoy it

    this horse is not for you at this time maybe in a few years time when you have gain knowledge done a few things like shows and stuff and when you have your confidence back
    and when perhaps your kids arent at the back of your mind--

    Yesterday, I went to the barn and just lunged because I was so shaken from my last ride having gone poorly (by poorly, I mean that I rode for thirty minutes, he felt tense for most of it, he swished his tail and pinned his ears when asked to go forward, and he spooked and whirled around or cantered off a stride or two a couple of times). Five minutes in to our lunging session, he pinned his ears, turned in towards me and struck (nowhere near close) at me with his forelegs! Later, still on the line, he bucked, took off running, dove in and kicked at me with great vigor. He repeated both behaviors once again. My trainer was present and offered advice at the time, but I think my responses were still too slow to really get the message across that he was being TOTALLY out of line. We ended on a good note, as I always try to, but this month I always seem to come home feeling like each ride/interaction was worse than the last.

    cant say it enough if you not enjoying him and are scared a tad and have your kids on your mind 24/7 then give him up and sell him before he becomes any worse and sell him as not a novice ride as you need expreince hands to ride

    ooh and change barns to,, as your instructor wasnt thinking of you as person nor what yu was required you wanted a sane and sensible horse not one that naps just becuase he can and you havent got the knowledge to correct him and your trianer saysuse more whip rahter than legs

    thats not the answer she should be educating you as to how she rides him thats if she does
    or perhaps how the other advance riders ride him with no problems

    I used to consider myself a strong rider with good horse sense, but I have had a decade off and suddenly find that I have no guts.

    dont be daft woman,, look mate, have kids and i have riden since year dot but even i lost my cofindence when i had kids for a tad
    why-- becuase we have that forever merturnal clock as in what if this happens how i am going to cope if i get hurt i have kids, its that thats blocking you as you have them on your mind constantly becuase thats what women do when thy have kids

    you know before you had them we as me and you and the rest of the mums on here
    did sleep when we slept once a kids born thats it you go to sleep with one ear open forver and ever my duaghter is 26 this year and ihave a grandson do i sleep like i did beofre i had her and my son nope
    its at the back of your mind once they older and you have a bit of independance from them or they wont to join you and learn its a lot easier but when young its hard if your a re rider and i have come upon this problem many times
    hence why i wouldnt have sold a horse to you deemed to be mastered thats not what you personnaly wanted and unfair on the trinaer to make you buy something thats not suited to your needs or wants

    I know that, barring pain or some other factor, these behaviors need to be addressed with a matter-of-fact, assertive, cool attitude and high expectations. All the same, he can spook sideways or give me a crowhop or two when I ask for the canter and it totally shatters my nerves for the rest of the ride. I am really starting to question whether I can work it out with him. I want a horse that enjoys an outing and makes me feel safe and relaxed, and am happy to sacrifice beauty or athleticism in exchange. If it weren't for these hissy fits, or for my adrenaline response to what might be seen as minor evasions, Jack might be that horse (except that he IS beautiful!) When he's going well (mid December, for instance) I feel totally relaxed and safe and can sit on him and chat with friends, or ride bareback to cool him off, or warm him up on a loose rein.

    dont question your self -- sell him hes just not right for you
    you shouldnt be working harder than the horse and you shouldnt be sacred once your cnfidence goes it hard to get it back even i know that but i am expreince rider and i know how to and where to apply if nesscary so the horse dont get the q's that i have thats the difference between me and you iam not a novice rider

    Additional lessons aren't likely - I'm on a seriously limited budget and am already faced with having to find a cheaper boarding barn due to rising rates at my trainer's barn (totally understandably, seeing how their prices are rising). I am actually afraid to move him because I don't want to deal with the challenge of riding in a new arena.

    change barns change instrcutors to a more simpathic one and change to a slower calmer horse that you can learn on as your confidence grows ie one that has an extra up gear f you want to try say sj or shows or showing that isnt going to p you about
    leanr by what you have now and to what you really want in a horse and dont let the trianers buy them or get you buy them for them but buy one you can ride happily on

    Where is the cocky teenager I used to be? Where's the girl who used to trail ride bareback and bridleless?

    your a mum now

    Sending him to a trainer or taking many more lessons are out of the question financially. Should I be thinking about selling him and buying an old ranch horse?? Should I read some self-help books and work on MY problem of jangled nerves on the assumption that I'm feeding the fire? Should I do some groundwork to resolve my otherwise polite horse's aggression on the lunge line? I've worked with some other challenging horses but I've never met one who switches from quiet angel to pissed off ass so frequently or so unexpectedly, so I'm always a bit caught off guard by his misbehavior.

    nope change the horse and sell him now before you cant handle him anymore and puts you off for life

    For the record, he's out 24/7 with a buddy (and they're very herd bound, which doesn't help) at a boarding barn with 40+ horses. He eats orchard grass hay, no grain, and is healthy and not obese but also not fit. He is polite on the ground, as a rule, and leads, ties, lets me touch him anywhere, etc. but he is nippy and pushy when he expects a treat. I don't do food rewards, as a rule, but his former owner did to excess so he has a bit of an issue in that regard. I do think that all of our problems are rooted in his disrespect for me (he thinks I'm a total doormat) and in his having low confidence both in himself and in me.

    nippy pushy isnt a 1st horse

    My goals for this horse - best case scenario - include continuing to study training level dressage, maybe attend the occasional schooling show, and trail ride safely both alone and in company. My trainer, the seller and I all thought that those goals were totally reasonable when we bought him in October, and now I feel like a schooling show is worlds away - simply riding past the arena gate at feeding time is enough to cause a dangerous temper tantrum!

    Advice? Reality check? Hand-holding? Bring it on! Thanks.
    be hoenest with your self hes not the horse for you

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2005
    Cambridge Springs, PA


    You've got a choice to make. Either he is TRULY scaring you and putting you in danger OR... he's making you nervous but you're not really feeling in danger.

    If he is truly scaring you and you feel like you may end up hurt. Then sell him. Get something else.. the right one WILL come along that you can do all the things you want to do with... and not worry about this crap.

    If you really like him and you don't feel like he's putting you in danger then you've got work to do. This horse is CLEARLY telling you he doesn't respect you at all - on the ground (lunging) and under saddle. I suspect that if you put him in his place a few times this problem will disappear. He is not doing it for more confident riders, you said. So it's not a general problem with this horse.. it's a problem with your relationship with this horse. He doesn't see you as the boss and he doesn't respect you at all. He threatened you on the lunge line, he is clearly telling you something.

    If you can conjure up the courage to.. next time he pulls some crap with you while being ridden, I'd really yell/growl at him, Crop him smartly (I mean a good sharp smack - seriously and I don't care if I get flamed for it) and MAKE HIM do what you're asking, or ask for something else you feel more comfortable with. But I'd do it pretty QUICK and strong.

    You can begin the reassertion of your dominance on the ground using in hand work, or on the lunge. When you're lunging I'd also be prepared to GET AFTER him if he tries that aggressive behavior again. Really. Yell, chase, be aggressive with the whip (doesn't mean you have to hit him with it, can just be body language - but if a horse is coming at me aggressively while lunging and challenging my body language, yep, they're gonna get that lungewhip across the rump fo sho!)

    You don't have to be "tough" with him all the time by any means. However, at the very first instance of ANY indication of him not respecting you, your space, etc. I would be all over his case about it. This has been building up for a while and you may even be able to make a substantial difference in his behavior just by how you interact on the ground.

    If you don't feel up to this stuff... theres NO SHAME in that at all. Move on to a horse who isn't going to challenge you for status and just have FUN and ENJOY.
    2016 RRP Makeover Competitor

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